Freiburg stun Frank­furt

New Straits Times - - Sport -

Striker Flo­rian Nieder­lech­ner net­ted both of Freiburg’s goals in their shock 2-1 come­back win at Bun­desliga high-fliers Ein­tra­cht Frank­furt on Sun­day to leave them just out­side the top six.

Ein­tra­cht crashed to only their se­cond de­feat at home this sea­son de­spite tak­ing an early lead when Swe­den striker Bra­n­imir Hr­gota con­verted their first chance on 11 min­utes.

Freiburg, last sea­son’s se­cond divi­sion cham­pi­ons, forced their way back into the game as Nieder­lech­ner rounded Frank­furt goal­keeper Lukas Hradecky on 25 min­utes to score.

Sixth-placed Frank­furt had the ball in the Freiburg net mo­ments later when Ante Re­bic headed home, but the ref­eree dis­al­lowed the goal as mid­fielder Mi­jat Ga­ci­novic had fouled goal­keeper Alexan­der Sch­wolow.

Nieder­lech­ner net­ted again on 59 min­utes for the win­ner when he fin­ished off a flow­ing move, al­though re­plays showed he was off­side.

“For the goal, he was at least a me­tre off­side. If I hadn’t seen it, I’d have had to ask my­self why not?” fumed Frank­furt coach Niko Ko­vac, who had a heated dis­cus­sion with the ref­eree at the fi­nal whis­tle.

“You could go fur­ther and say we should have had two penal­ties.”

The re­sult lifted Freiburg to eighth — two points from the top six Euro­pean qual­i­fi­ca­tion places — and 23 points be­hind league lead­ers Bay­ern Mu­nich, who are seven clear of the chas­ing pack af­ter Satur­day’s 3-0 win at Cologne.

Frank­furt’s next league game on Satur­day is in Mu­nich. They held Carlo Ancelotti’s Bay­ern to a 2-2 draw when the teams last met in Oc­to­ber.

Later, rel­e­ga­tion-threat­ened Ham­burg ex­tended their un­beaten home run in the league to seven matches with a 1-0 win over Hertha Ber­lin, thanks to a late win­ner from Swedish mid­fielder Al­bin Ek­dal.

Ham­burg’s win leaves them 16th — still in the rel­e­ga­tion places — but means the teams be­low them, In­gol­stadt and Darm­stadt, are now at least five points from safety.

Hertha’s dread­ful form on the road con­tin­ued with a sixth straight away de­feat in all com­pe­ti­tions, yet Pal Dar­dai’s team are fifth.

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